Vladimir Ilyich Lenin

Conspectus of Hegel’s
Science of Logic
Book III (Subjective Logic or
the Doctrine of the Notion)

Note: Quoted text and page numbers—i.e., (167)—indicate links to passages in Hegel’s Science of Logic
and to Hegel’s Encyclopaedia of the Philosophical Sciences in Outline, also known as the Shorter Logic.
The section known as Lenin’s “Summary of Dialectics” also exists in the Lenin Internet Archive on a
separate page paired with Lenin’s “On the Question of Dialectics”KCG, 2007.

Book Three:
(Subjective Logic or the Doctrine of the Notion)

Vol. V. The Science of Logic
Part II:  Subjective Logic or  the Doctrine
of the Notion


In the first two parts, says Hegel, I had
no Vorarbeiten,[1] but here, on the other
hand, there is “verknöchertes Material”[2]
(which it is necessary to “in Flüssigkeit brin-
gen”[3]...) (3) [4]

“Being and Essence are the moments of
its becoming” (=des Begriffs).[5] (5)

Should be inverted: concepts are
the highest product of the brain,
the highest product of matter.


“Accordingly Objective Logic, which con-
siders Being and Essence, really constitutes
the genetic exposition of the Notion.” (6)

9-10:  The great significance of the phi-
losophy of Spinoza as the philosophy
of substance (this standpoint is very
advanced, but it is incomplete and
not the most advanced: in general
the refutation of a philosophic system
does not mean discarding it, but de-
veloping it further, not replacing it
by another, one-sided opposed system,
but incorporating it into something
more advanced). In Spinoza’s system
there is no free, independent, conscious
subject (it lacks “the freedom and inde-
pendence of the self-conscious subject
(10), but in Spinoza also thought
is an attribute of substance. (10 i. f.[6])
13  i. f.: Incidentally—just as at one time
it was the fashion in philosophy “das
Schlimme nachzusagen” der Einbil-
dungskraft und den Gedächtnisse[7]—so
now it is the fashion to belittle
the significance of the “notion” (=“das
höchste des Denkens”[8]) and to praise
“das Unbegriefliche”
[9] |allusion to

Passing to criticism of Kantian-
, Hegel regards as Kant’s great
merit (15) the advancement of the
idea of the “transcendental unity of
(the unity of the con-
sciousness in which the Begriff is cre-
ated), but he reproaches Kant for his
one-sidedness and subjec-


“The object is truly in and for it-
self only as it is in thought; as it is in
intuition or ideation, it is appear-
ance....” (16) (Hegel raises Kant’s
idealism from being subjective to be-
ing objective and absolute)....

from intui-
tion to
cognition of

Kant admits the objectivity of con-
cepts (Wahrheit[10] is their object),
but all the same leaves them subjective.

He makes Gefühl und Anschau-
ung[11] precede Understanding. (Ver-
stand). Hegel speaks of this as

“Now, first, with regard to this relation
of the understanding or the Notion to the
stages which are supposed to precede it,
it is of importance what science it is that
is being treated, in order to determine the
form of these stages. In our science, since
it is pure logic, these stages are Being and
Essence. In psychology, sensation and in-
and also ideation in general pre-
cede understanding. In the Phenomenology
of Mind, since it is the doctrine of con-
sciousness, the acsent was made through
the stages of sensuous consciousness and,
next, perception, to understanding.” (17)
In Kant the exposition is very “incom-
plete” here.

After that—the CHIEF THING

...“The Notion must not here be
considered as an act of self-conscious
understanding, or as subjective under-
standing: what we have to do with

is the Notion in and for itself, which
constitutes a STAGE AS WELL OF

The “eve” of
the transfor-

.” (18)

mation of
idealism into

There follows a very interesting passage
(pp. 19-27) where Hegel refutes Kant,
precisely epistemologically
probably had this passage in mind when he
wrote in Ludwig Feuerbach[12] that the main
point against Kant had already been made
by Hegel, insofar as this was possible
from an idealistic standpoint),—exposing
Kant’s duality and inconsistency, his, so
to speak, vacillation between empiricism
(= materialism) and idealism, Hegel him-
self arguing wholly and exclu-
from the standpoint of a more


Begriff is still not the highest concept:
still higher is the Idea = the unity of
Begriff and Reality.


“‘It is only a notion’ is a thing com-
monly said; and not only the Idea, but sen-
suous, spatial, and temporally palpable
existence is opposed to the Notion, as
something which is more excellent than
it. And the abstract is counted of less
worth than the concrete, because from the
former so much, of that kind, of material
has been omitted. To those who hold this
view, the process of abstraction means that
for our subjective needs one or another
characteristic is taken out of the concrete in
such a manner that, while so many other
properties and modifications of the ob-
ject are omitted, it loses nothing in value

or dignity. They are the real and are reck-
oned as counting in full, only they are
left on the other side; and it is only the
incapacity of understanding to absorb such
riches that forces it to rest content with

belittles the
power of

meagre abstraction. But if the given ma-
terial of intuition and the manifold of
ideation are taken as the real in opposi-
tioh to that which is thought and to the

Notion, then this is a view the renuncia-
tion of which is not only a condition of
philosophy, but is assumed even by reli-
gion; for how can these be needed and
have significance if the fugitive and super-
ficial appearance of the sensuous and the in-
dividual are taken for the truth?.. Con-

the more
clings to

sequently, abstracting thought must not
be considered as a mere setting-aside of
the sensuous material, whose reality is
said not to be lowered thereby; but it is
its transcendence, and the reduction of it
(as mere appearance) to the essential, which
manifests itself in the Notion only.” (19-21)


Essentially, Hegel is completely right
as opposed to Kant. Thought proceeding
from the concrete to the abstract—
provided it is correct (NB) (and Kant,
like all philosophers, speaks of correct
thought)—does not get away from
the truth but comes closer to it. The
abstraction of matter, of a law of nature,
the abstraction of value, etc., in short
all scientific (correct, serious, not ab-
surd) abstractions reflect nature more
deeply, truly and completely. From
living perception to abstract thought,
and from this to practice,—such is the
dialectical path of cognition of
truth, of cognition of objective real-
ity. Kant disparages knowledge in order
to make way for faith: Hegel exalts
knowledge, asserting that knowledge is
knowledge of God. The materialist exalts
knowledge of matter, of nature,
consigning God, and the philosophical
rabble that defends God, to the rubbish


“A principal misapprehension here is
that the natural principle or the beginning,
which is the starting-point in natural de-
velopment or in the history of the individ-
ual in its formation, is taken as the true
and as that which is first also in the No-
tion.” (21) (—It is correct that people
begin with that, but truth lies not in
the beginning but in the end, or rather,
in the continuation. Truth is not the ini-
impression).... “But philosophy is not
meant to be a narrative of what happens,
but the cognition of what is true in happen-
ings.” (21)

In Kant there is “psychological ideal-
ism” (22): Kant's categories “are only
determinations which are derived from self-
consciousness.” (22) Rising from under-
standing (Verstand) to Reason (Vernunft),
Kant belittles the significance of thought,
denying is the capacity to “reach perfected
truth.” (23)

“It is declared” (Kant) “to be an abuse if
logic, which ought to be merely a canon
of judgment
, is regarded as an organ for
the production of objective discoveries. The
notions of Reason, in which a higher

force (an idealistic phrase!) and a deeper
(correct!!) content were of necessity
divined, are less Konstitutives[13] |it should
be: Objektives[14]|
than even the categories;
they are mere ideas. Their use may cer-
tainly be permissible, but these intelligible

essences, which should wholly unlock the
truth, are to signify no more than hypothe-
; and it would be completely arbitrary
and reckless to ascribe any truth to them
in and for themselves, since they can occur
in no kind of experience
. Could it ever
have been thought that philosophy would
gainsay the validity of the intelligible essences
because they are without the spatial and
temporal material of sensuousness?” (23)

Here, too, Hegel is essentially right:
value is a category which entbehrt des
Stoffes der Sinnlichkeit,[15] but it is
truer than the law of supply and
Only Hegel is an idealist; hence the
nonsense of “konstitutives,”[16] etc.

Kant, on the other hand, quite clearly recog-
nises the “objectivity” (24) of thought
(“des Denkens”) (“an identity of the Notion
and the thing” (24))—but, on the other hand,

“the assertion is made again that we sure-
ly cannot know things as they are in and
for themselves, and that truth does not
allow cognising reason to approach it; that
truth which consists in the unity of object
and Nation is after all only appearance, and

Hegel in
favour of the
of the Thing-

the reason now is that content is only the
manifold of intuition. Of this argument it
has been remarked that this manifoldness,
insofar as it belongs to intuition as op-
posed to the Notion, is transcended precisely
in the Notion, and that the object is led back

by the Notion into its non-contingent essen-
tiality; the latter enters into appearance,
and for this very reason the appearance is
mamfestatlon not merely non-essential, but
manifestation of Essence.” (24, 25)

appearance is
of essence

“It will always remain a matter for aston-
ishment how the Kantian philosophy knew
that relation of thought to sensuous exist-
ence, where it halted, for a merely rela-
tive relation of bare appearance, and fully
acknowledged and asserted a higher unity
of the two in the Idea in general, and, for
example, in the idea of an intuitive under-
standing; but yet stopped dead at this rel-

ative relation and at the assertion that the
Notion is and remains utterly separated


from reality;—so that it affirmed as truth
what it pronounced to be finite knowledge,
and declared to be superfluous, improper,
and figments of thought that which it
recognised as truth, and of which it estab-
lished the definite notion” (26)


In logic, the Idea “becomes the creator
of Nature.” (26)


Logic is “formelle Wissenschaft”[17] (27)
as against the concrete sciences (of nature
and mind), but its object matter is “die
reine Warheit”[18]....(27)

Kant himself, in asking what truth is (27)
(the Critique of Pure Reason p. 83) and
giving a trivial answer (“correspondence
of knowledge with its object”), strikes at
himself, for “the fundamental assertion
of transcendental idealism” is
     —that “cognition is not capable of appre-
hending Things-in-themselves”(27)
     —and it is clear that all this is “an
untrue idea.” (28)

In arguing against the purely formal con-
ception of logic (which Kant, too, is said
to have)—saying that from the ordinary
standpoint (truth is the correspondence
|“Übereinstimmung”| of knowledge with
the object) correspondence “essentially de-
mands two sides” (29), Hegel says that the
formal element in logic is “pure truth” (29)
and that

...“this formal element must therefore
be thought of as being in itself much richer
in determinations and content, and as hav-
ing infinitely more influence upon the
concrete, than it is generally held to have....


...“But, even if the logical forms are to
be regarded as nothing more than formal
functions of thought, yet this character
would make them worthy of an investi-
gation as to how far they correspond to
the truth in themselves. A system of logic
which neglects this can claim at most
to have the value of a natural-historical
description of the empirical phenomena of
.” (30-31) (Herein is said to lie


the immortal merit of Aristotle), but “it
is necessary to go further....” (31)

Thus, not only a description of the
forms of thought and not only a nat-
ural-historical descrip-
tion of the phenomena
thought (wherein does that differ from
a description of forms??) but also
correspondence with truth,
i.e.??, the quintessence or, more sim-
ply, the results and outcome of the his-
tory of thought?? Here Hegel is ideal-
istically unclear, and fails to speak
out fully. Mysticism.

Not psychology, not the
phenomenology of mind,
but logic = the question
of truth.

In this con-
ception, log-
ic coincides
with the
theory of
. This
is in general
a very

Cf. Encyclopaedia, Vol. VI, p. 319 [19]:
“But in point of fact they” (die logischen
Formen[20]), “turned round as forms of the
notion, constitute the living spirit of the

  The general
laws of move-
ment of the
  of thought


Begriff in its development into “adäquaten

Begriff,”[21] becomes the Idea. (33)[22]
“Notion in its objectivity is the object
which is in and for itself.” (33)


= objectivism + mysticism
and betrayal of development



The dialectical movement of the “No-
tion”—from the purely “formal” notion
at the beginning—to the Judgement (Urteil),
then—to the Syllogism (Schluß) and—fi-
nally to the transformation of the subjectiv-
ity of the Notion into its objectivity.

The first distinguishing feature of the
Notion is Universaltity (Allegemeinheit). NB:
The Notion grew out of Essence, and the
latter out of Being.


The further development of the Uni-
, the Particular (Besonderes) and the
Individual (Einzelnes) is in the highest
degree abstract and “abstruse.”

The further development of the Uni-
, the Particular (Besonderes) and the
Individual (Einzelnes) is in the highest
degree abstract and “abstruse.”

En lisant...
These parts
of the work
should be
called: a best
means for
getting a

Kuno Fischer expounds the “abstruse”
considerations very poorly, taking up the
lighter points—examples from the Ency-
, and adding banalities
(against the French Revolution. Kuno
Fischer, Vol. 8, 1901, p. 530), etc.,
but not showing the reader how to look
for the key to the difficult transitions,
nuances, ebbs and flows of Hegel’s
abstract concepts.

Obviously, here too the chief thing
for Hegel is to trace the transitions.
From a certain point of view, under
certain conditions, the universal is the
individual, the individual is the uni-
versal. Not only (1) connection, and
inseparable connection, of all concepts
and judgements, but (2) transitions from
one into the other, and not only transi-
tions, but also (3) identity of opposites
that is the chief thing for Hegel. But
this merely “glimmers” through the fog of
extremely abstruse exposition. The his-
tory of thought from the standpoint
of the development and application of
the general concepts and categories of
the Logic—voilà ce qu’il faut![25]


Or is this
after all a
tribute to old
formal logic?
Yes! And
another trib-
ute—a trib-
ute to mys-
ticism =

Voilà an
abundance of
tions” and of
in this part
of the Logic!


Quoting, on p. 125, the “famous” syllo-
gism—“all men are mortal, Gaius is a man,
therefore he is mortal”—Hegel shrewdly

adds: “Boredom immediately descends when
such a syllogism is heard approaching”

this is declared to be due to the “unnützen


Form,”[27] and Hegel makes the profound

“All things are a Syllogism, a universal
which is bound together with individuality
through particularity; but of course they
are not wholes consisting of three propo-
.” (126)

“All things
are a syllo-

Very good! The most common logical
“figures”—(all this is in the Par. on the
“First Figure of the Syllogism”) are the
most common relations of things, set
forth with the pedantic thoroughness of
a school textbook, sit venia verbo.[28]


Hegel’s analysis of syllogisms (E.—
B.—A., Eins[29]; Besonderes[30]; Allge-
meines,[31] B.—E.—A., etc.) recalls
Marx’s imitation of Hegel in Chapter

On Kant

Inter alia:
     “Kant’s Antinomies of Reason are just
this, that first one determination of a No-
tion is made the foundation of the Notion,
and next, and with equal necessity,
the other....” (128-129)

have to
return to
Hegel for
a step-by-
step anal-
ysis of
any cur-
rent logic
and theo-
ry of
a Kan-
tian, etc.
in its
form to
The formation of (abs-
tract) notions and opera-
tions with them already in-
cludes the idea, conviction,
consciousness of
the law-governed character
to the world. To distinguish
causality from this connec-
tion is stupid. To deny the
objectivity of notions, the
objectivity of the universal
in the individual and in the
particular, is impossible.
Consequently, Hegel is much
more profound than Kant,
and others, in tracing the
reflection of the movement
of the objective world in the
movement of notions. Just
as the simple form of value,
the individual act of ex-
change of one given com-
modity for another, already
includes in an underdeveloped
form all the main contradic-
tions of capitalism,—so the
simpler generalisation, the
first and simplest formation
of notions (judgements, syl-
logisms, etc.) already de-
notes man’s ever deeper cog-
nition of the objective con-
nection of the world. Here is
where one should look for
the true meaning, signifi-
cance and role of Hegel’s
Logic. This NB.
tion of
the true
cance of

Two aphorisms:

the question
of the criti-
cism of mod-
ern Kantian-
ism, Mach-
ism, etc.:

1. Plekhanov criticises Kantianism (and
agnosticism in general) more from a vul-
gar-materialistic standpoint than from a
dialectical-materialistic standpoint, inso-
far as
he merely rejects their views a li-
mine,[34] but does not correct them (as He-
gel corrected Kant), deepening, generalis-
ing and extending them, showing the
connection and transitions of
each and every concept.

2. Marxists criticised (at the beginning
of the twentieth century) the Kantians
and Humists more in the manner of Feuer-
bach (and Büchner) than of Hegel.

...“An experience which rests upon in-
duction is taken as valid although admitted-
ly the perception is not completed; but no
more can be assumed than that no example
can be produced contrary to this experience,
insofar as the latter is true in and for
itself.” (154)


This passage is in the §: “The Syllo-
gism of Induction.” The simplest truth
obtained in the simplest inductive way
is always incomplete. Ergo: the connection
of induction with analogy—with sur-
(scientific foresight), the relativity
of all knowledge and the absolute con-
tent in each step forward in cognition.

Aphorism: It is impossible completely
to understand Marx’s Capital, and es-
pecially its first chapter, without having
thoroughly studied and understood the
whole of Hegel’s Logic. Consequently,
half a century later none of the Marxists
understood Marx!!

The transition from the syllogism
of analogy (about analogy) to the syllogism
of necessity,—from the syllogism of induc-
tion to the syllogism of analogy,—the
syllogism of the universal to the individ-
ual—the syllogism[35] from the individual
to the universal,—the exposition of con-
and transitions |con-
nection is transition|, that is Hegel’s


task. Hegel actually proved that
logical forms and laws are not an empty
shell, but the reflection of the objec-

tive world. More correctly, he did not
prove, but made a brilliant guess.


In the Encyclopaedia Hegel re-
marks that the division of Understanding
and Reason, of Notions of one kind or
the other must be understood in such a way
     “that our mode of behaviour is either

to stop short at the merely negative and
abstract form of the Notion, or to conceive
the latter, in accordance with its true

abstract and

nature, as that which is at once positive

and concrete. Thus, for example, if freedom
is regarded as the abstract opposite of ne-
cessity, this is merely the Notion of under-
standing of freedom, whereas the true and
rational Notion of freedom contains ne-
cessity as transcended within it.” (Pp. 347-
, Vol. VI[36])

Freedom and

Ibidem p. 349: Aristotle described the
logical forms so completely that “essen-
tially” there has been nothing to add.

Usually the “figures of the syllogism”
are regarded as empty formalism. “They”
(these figures) “have, however, a very fun-
damental meaning, based on the necessity
that every moment, as determination of
the Notion, itself becomes the whole and
mediating Ground.” (352, Vol. VI)

Encyclopaedia (Vol. VI, pp. 353-354)


“The objective meaning of the figures
of the syllogism is in general that every-
thing rational is manifested as a threefold
syllogism, such that each of its members
assumes the position of one of the extremes


as well as that of the mediating middle.
Such, for example, is the case with the three
branches of philosophy, i. e., the Logical

Idea, Nature and Mind. Here it is Nature
that is first of all the middle, connecting
member. Nature, this immediate totality,
unfolds itself in the two extremes of the


Logical Idea and Mind.”[37]


“Nature, this immediate totality, un-
folds itself in the Logical Idea and
Mind.” Logic is the science of cognition.
It is the theory of knowledge. Knowl-
edge is the reflection of nature by man.
But this is not simple, not an imme-
diate, not a complete reflection, but
the process of a series of abstractions,
the formation and development of con-
cepts, laws, etc., and these concepts,
laws, etc., (thought, science = “the log-
ical Idea”) embrace conditionally, ap-
proximately, the universal, law-governed
character of eternally moving and de-
veloping nature. Here there are actually,
objectively, three members: 1) nature;
2) human cognition = the human
brain (as the highest product of this
same nature), and 3) the form of reflec-
tion of nature in human cognition, and
this form consists precisely of con-
cepts, laws, categories, etc. Man cannot
comprehend = reflect = mirror nature as
a whole
, in its completeness, its “imme-
diate totality,” he can only eternally
come closer to this, creating abstrac-
tions, concepts, laws, a scientific pic-
ture of the world, etc., etc.

Hegel “only
deifies this
idea,” obe-
dience to
law, univer-


+ “Spirit, however, is only spirit through
being mediated by Nature.... ”It is Spirit
that recognises the logical Idea in Nature


and so raises it to its essence....” “The
logical Idea is ‘the absolute Substance
both of Spirit and of Nature, the universal,
the all-pervading.’” (353-354)

In regard to analogy an acute observation:

“It is the instinct of reason which allows
one to divine that one or another empiri-
cally found determination has its roots in
the inner nature or genus, of an object,
and which bases itself further on this de-
termination.” (357) (VoL VI, p. 359)

And p. 358: And justifiable contempt for
the philosophy of nature has been
evoked by the futile play with empty


In ordinary logic[38] thought is formal-
istically divorced from objectivity.

“Thought is held here to be a mere sub-
jective and formal activity, and what is
objective is held to be, in contrast to
thought, something firm and present for
itself. This dualism, however, is not the
truth, and it is thoughtless procedure to
accept the determinations of subjectivity
and objectivity in this way without fur-
ther question, and without inquiring into
their origin....” (359-360) In reality, sub-
jectivity is only a stage of development
from Being and Essence—whereupon this
subjectivity “dialectically ‘breaks through
its barrier’” and “opens out into objectiv-
ity by means of the syllogism.” (360)

Very profound and clever! The laws
of logic are the reflections of the objec-
tive in the subjective consciousness of


Vol. VI, p. 360
     “The realised Notion” is the object.

This transition from the subject, from
the notion, to the object is said to seem
“strange,” but by the object one should
understand not simply Being, but some-
thing definitive, “something independent,
concrete and complete in itself....” (361)
“The world is the other being of the Idea.”

Subjectivity (or the Notion) and the
object—are the same and not the same....

Nonsense about the ontological argu-
ment, about God!

...“It is wrong to regard subjectivity and
objectivity as a fixed and abstract antithe-
sis. Both are wholly dialectical....” (367)




(Logic) V, 178:[39]
     The twofold significance of objectivity:
...“similarly a twofold significance appears
for Objectivity: it stands opposed to the in-
dependent Notion, but also is that which


is in and for itself....” (178)


...“The knowledge of truth is placed in
the cognition of the object as object without
the addition of any subjective reflection...”

cognition of
the object

Discourses on “mechanism”—further
on—extremely abstruse and almost com-
plete nonsense.
     Further, idem about chemism, the stages
of “judgment,” etc.


The paragraph entitled “Law” (198-199)
does not give what could be expected
from Hegel on such an interesting question.
It is strange why “law” is referred to “mech-


The concept of law approximates
here the concepts “order” (Ordnung);
uniformity (Gleichförmigkeit); necessi-

this approxi-
mation is
very important

ty; the “soul” der objektiven Totalität;[40]
the “principle of self-movement.”


All this from the standpoint that mech-
anism is the other-being of spirit, of
the Notion, etc., of the soul, of individ-
uality.... Obviously, playing with
empty analogies!


To be noted: on p. 210 the concept of

“Naturnotwendigkeit”[41] is encountered—
“both mechanism and Chemism are, then,
comprehended under natural necessity”...
for we see here “its” (des Begriffs) “submer-

((( sion into externality” (ibidem).     ))

“nature =
of the No-
tion into

“It was mentioned that the opposition be-
tween Teleology and Mechanism is, in the
first instance, the more general opposition
between freedom and necessity. Kant sets

freedom and

out the opposition in this form under the
Antinomies of Reason, as the ‘Third Con-
flict of Transcendental Ideas.’” (213) Briefly
repeating Kant’s proofs, thesis and antith-
esis, Hegel notes the hollowness of these
proofs and directs attention to the result
of Kant’s considerations:

Kant’s solution of this Antinomy is
the same as the general solution of the
others: that reason can prove neither of
these propositions, since we can have no
determinant principle a priori about the pos-
sibility of things according to mere empirical

Hegel versus
Kant (on
freedom and

laws of nature; consequently the two must

not be regarded as objective prop-
ositions but as subjective maxims;

on the one hand I ought always to reflect
upon all natural events according to the
principle of pure natural mechanism; but

this does" not prevent me from investigat-
ing certain forms of nature, should the
occasion be given, according to another


maxim, namely, that of final causes;—as
though these two maxims (which further
are supposed to be required only by human
reason) were not in the same opposition
in which the propositions stand.—As was

observed above, from this whole standpoint
the only question which is demanded by
philosophic interest is not looked into,
namely, which of these two principles is
true in and for itself; but, for this point

of view, it is irrelevant whether the prin-
ciples are to be considered as objective de-
terminations of nature (that is here, as de-
terminations existing externally) or as mere
maxims of a subjective cognition.—But
in fact this is a subjective, that is, a
contingent, cognition
, which applies
one or the other maxim as the occasion
may suggest
according to whether it thinks
it appropriate to the given objects, but
otherwise does not ask about the truth
of these determinations themselves, wheth-
er both are determinations of the objects
or of cognition.” (215-216)


“The End has turned out
to be the third term with
respect to Mechanism and
Chemism; it is their truth.
Since it still stands within
the sphere of Objectivity or
of the immediacy of the to-
tal Notion, it is still affec-
ted by externality as such;
an objective world to which
it relates itself still stands
opposed to it. From this
side mechanical causality
(in which generally Chem-
ism must be included)
still appears in this End-
relation (which is external),
but as subordinated to it
and as transcended in and
for itself.” (216-217)

...“From this results the
nature of the subordination
of the two previous forms
of the objective process: the
Other, which in them lies
in the infinite progress, is
the Notion which at first
is posited as external to
them, which is End; not
only is the Notion their
substance, but also exter-
nality is the moment which
is essential to them and con-
stitutes their determinate-

Materialist Dialec-

”The laws of the external
world, of nature, which are
divided into mechanical
and chemical (this is very
important) are the bases of
man’s purposive activity.

In his practical activity,
man is confronted with the
objective world, is depend-
ent on it, and determines
his activity by it.

From this aspect, from
the aspect of the practical
(purposive) activity of man,
the mechanical (and chemi-
cal) causality of the world
(of nature) appears as though
something external, as
though something secon-
dary, as though something

Two forms of the ob-
process: nature
(mechanical and chemical)
and the purposive ac-
tivity of man. The mutual
relation of these forms. At
the beginning, man’s ends
appear foreign (“other”) in
relation to nature. Human
consciousness, science (“der

ness. Thus mechanical or
chemical technique sponta-
neously offers itself to the
End-relation by reason of
its character of being deter-
mined externally; and this
relation must now be
further considered.” (217)


Begriff”), reflects the essence,
the substance of nature,
but at the same time this
consciousness is something
external in relation to na-
ture (not immediately, not
simply, coinciding with it).


serves human ends just be-

cause its character (essence)
consists in its being deter-
mined by external condi-
tions (the laws of nature).


((TECHNIQUE and the OBJECTIVE world.

...“It” (der Zweck[42]) “has before it an
objective, Mechanical and Chemical world,
to which its activity relates itself as to
something already given....” (219-220) “To
this extent it still has a truly extra-
mundane existence, namely, insofar as
this objectivity stands opposed to it....”


In actual fact, man’s ends are engen-
dered by the objective world and pre-
suppose it,—they find it as something
given, present. But it seems to man
as if his ends are taken from outside
the world, and are independent of the
world (“freedom”).
     ((NB. All this in the § in “The Sub-
jective End.” NB)) (217-221)

“The End binds itself with objectivity
through a Means, and in objectivity with
itself.” (221 §: “The Means.”)

Further, since the End is finite it has
a finite content; accordingly it is not
absolute or utterly in and for itself reason-
able. The Means however is the external
middle of the syllogism which is the realisa-
tion of the End; in it therefore reason-
ableness manifests itself as such—as pre-
serving itself in this external Other and
precisely through this externality. To that
extent the Means is higher than the finite
Ends of external usefulness: the plough
is more honourable than those immediate
enjoyments which are procured by it, and
serve as Ends. The instrument is preserved,
while the immediate enjoyments pass away

the germs of
in Hegel

and are forgotten. IN HIS TOOLS MAN
.” (226)

Hegel and

Vorbericht, i.e., preface of the book
dated: Nuremberg, 21.VII.1816

This is in the §:
“The Realised End”



“The teleological process is the transla-
tion into objectivity of the Notion (sic!)
which exists distinctly as Notion....” (227)


When Hegel endeavours—sometimes
even huffs and puffs—to bring man’s
purposive activity under the categories
of logic, saying that this activity
is the “syllogism” (Schluß), that the
subject (man) plays the role of a “mem-
ber” in the logical “figure” of the


“syllogism,” and so on—THEN THAT



“The movement of the End has now
achieved that the moment of externality
is posited not only in the Notion, and
the Notion is not only Ought and tendency,
but, as concrete totality, is identical


with immediate Objectivity.” (235) At the
end of the § on “The Realised End,” at the
end of the section (Chapter III: “Te-
leology”)—of Section II: “Objectivi-
,” the transition to Section III: “The


Remarkable: Hegel comes to the “Idea”
as the coincidence of the Notion and the
object, as  truth, through  the
practical, purposive activity of man.
A very close approach to the view that
man by his practice proves the objective
correctness of his ideas, concepts, knowl-
edge, science.






The beginning of Section III: “The Idea”


“The Idea is the adequate Notion: ob-
jective truth
, or the truth as
such.” (236)


In general, the introduction to Section III
(“The Idea”) of Part II to the Logic
(“Subjective Logic”) (Volume V, pp.236-
243) and the corresponding §§ of the

Encyclopaedia (§§ 213-215)—ARE PER-
. Here too, the coincidence,


so to speak, of logic and epistemology is
shown in a remarkable brilliant way.

The expression “Idea” is used also in
the sense of a simple representation.


“Kant has claimed the expression idea
again for the Notion of reason. Now accord-

Hegel against

ing to Kant the Notion of reason is to be

the Notion of the unconditioned, and, with
respect to phenomena, to be transcen-
dental, which means that it is impossible
to make any adequate empirical use of
it. Notions of reason (according to Kant)
are to serve for the conceptual compre-
hension, and Notions of understanding
for the bare understanding, of percep-
tions. But, in fact, if the latter really

against the
tal in the
of sepa-
ration of
truth from

are Notions then they are Notions,—con

ceptual comprehension takes place through
them....” (236)

très bien!

See also below on Kant


It is equally incorrect to regard the Idea
as something “unreal”—as people say: “it
is merely an idea


If thoughts are merely subjective and
contingent they certainly have no further
value; but in this they are not inferior
to temporal and contingent actualities,
which also have no further value except that

très bien!

which is proper to contingencies and phe-
nomena. And if conversely the Idea is not
to be rated as true because, with respect
to phenomena, it is transcendental, and no
object can be assigned to it, in the sen-
suous world, coinciding with it, this
is a strange lack of understanding,—for
so the Idea is denied objective validity
because it lacks that which constitutes
appearance, or the untrue being of the ob-
jective world.” (237-238)

In relation to practical ideas, Kant him-
self admits that the appeal to experience
against ideas is pöbelhaft[43]: he holds ideas
as a Maximum to which one should endeav-
our to bring actuality closer. And Hegel
     “But, the result having been reached that
the Idea is the unity of the Notion and
Objectivity, the truth, it must not merely
be considered as a goal which must be

approached while it still remains a kind
of beyond; it must be held that whatever
is actual is only insofar as it contains
and expresses the Idea. The object, and

Hegel against
“Jenseits”[44] of Kant

the objective and subjective world, not

merely ought to conform to the Idea, but
are themselves the conformity of Notion
and reality; that reality which does not
correspond to the Notion is mere appear-
, or that subjective, contingent, ca-
pricious entity which is not the truth.” (238)

The confor-
mity of con-
cepts with
objects is




“It” (die Idee) “is,  first,
simple truth, the identity
of the Notion and Objec-
tivity as a universal....

...Secondly, it is the re-
of the Subjectivity,
which is for itself, of the
simple Notion to its Ob-
jectivity which is distinct
from it, the former is es-
sentially the impulse to tran-
scend this separation....

...“As this relation, the
Idea is the process in which
it sunders itself into in-
dividuality and its inor-
ganic nature, and again
brings the latter back un-
der the power of the sub-
ject, returning to the first
simple universality. The
self-identity of the Idea is
one with the process; and
the thought which frees ac-
tuality from the semblance
of purposeless changeabili-
ty and transfigures it into
the Idea must not imagine
this truth of actuality as
a dead repose or bare pic-
, matt, without im-
pulse or motion, or as a gen-
ius, number, or abstract
thought. In the Idea the
Notion reaches freedom, and
because of this the Idea
contains also the harshest

The idea (read: man’s
knowledge) is the coinci-
dence (conformity) of no-
tion and objectivity (the
“universal”). This—first.

Secondly, the idea is the
relation of the subjectiv-
ity (= man) which is for
itself (= independent, as it
were) to the objectivity
which is distinct (from
this Idea)....

Subjectivity is the im-
to destroy this sepa-
ration (of the idea from
the object).
     Cognition is the process
of the submersion (of
the mind) in an inorganic
nature for the sake of
subordinating it to the
power of the subject and
for the sake of gener-
alisation (cognition of the
universal in its phenome-
     The coincidence of
thought with the object is a
process: thought (= man)
must not imagine truth in
the form of dead repose,
in the form of a bare pic-
ture (image), pale (matt),
without impulse, without
motion, like a genus, like
a number, like abstract
     The idea contains also


opposition; its repose con-
sists in the security and
certainty with which it eter-
nally creates and eternally
overcomes it, coinciding in
it with itself.”

the strongest contradiction,
repose (for man’s thought)
consists in the firmness and
certainty with which he
eternally creates (this con-
tradiction between thought

and object) and eternally
overcomes it....


Cognition is the eternal, endless
approximation of thought to the ob-
ject. The reflection of nature in man’s
thought must be understood not “life-
lessly,” not “abstractly,” not dev-
oid of movement
, not with-
out contradictions
, but in the
eternal process of movement, the aris-
ing of contradictions and their solution.



“The Idea is ... the Idea
of the True and of the
Good, as Cognition and Vo-
.... The process of this
finite cognition and (NB)
action (NB) makes the
universality, which at first
is abstract, into a totali-
ty, whence it becomes per-
fected objectivity
.” (243)

The idea is Cognition and
aspiration (volition) [of
man]... The process of (tran-
sitory, finite, limited) cog-
nition and action converts
abstract concepts into per-
fected objectivity.


Also in the Encyclo-
(Vol. VI).[45] En-
§ 213
(p. 385)


...“The Idea is truth,
for truth is the correspond-
ence of objectivity with
the Notion.... But also
everything actual, insofar
as it is true, is the Idea...
The individual Being is
some one aspect of the
Idea; hence it requires also
other actualities, which
likewise appear as existing
specially for themselves; it
is only in all of them to-
gether and in their rela-
that) the Notion is
realised. The individual by
itself does not correspond
to its Notion; this limi-
tation of its determinate
existence constitutes its fi-
nitude and its downfall....”

Individual Being (an ob-
ject, a phenomenon, etc.)
is (only) one side of the
Idea (of truth). () Truth re-
quires still other sides of
reality, which likewise ap-
pear only as independent
and individual (besonders
für sich bestehende[46]).
Only in their to-
, (zusammen), and
in their relation (Be-
ziehung) is truth realised.


(The totality of all sides of the
phenomenon, of reality and their (re-
ciprocal) relations—that is what
truth is composed of. The relations
(= transitions = contradictions) of
notions = the main content of logic,
by which these concepts (and their
relations, transitions, contradictions)
are shown as reflections of the objec-
tive world. The dialectics of things
produces the dialectics of ideas, and
not vice versa.)

divined the
dialectics of
things (phenom-
ena, the world,
nature) in
the dialectics
of concepts #


# This aphorism should be expressed
more popularly, without the word dia-
lectics: approximately as follows: In
the alternation, reciprocal dependence
of all notions, in the identity of their
, in the transitions of one no-
tion into another, in the eternal change,
movement of notions, Hegel brilliantly

not more



mutual dependence of notions
       without exception
transitions of notions from
                     one into another
              all             without

= NB
Every notion oc-
curs in a certain
in a certain
connection with
all the others


The relativity of opposition between notions...
the identity of opposites between notions.



“Truth is first of all taken to mean
that I know how something is. This is
truth, however, only in reference to con-
sciousness, or formal truth, bare correct-
ness. (§ 213, 386) Truth in the deeper
sense, on the contrary; consists in the
identity between objectivity and the

“A bad man is an untrue man, i.e.,
a man who does not behave in confor-
mity with the notion of him, or his posi-
tion. Nothing, however, can exist entire-
ly devoid of identity between the no-
tion and reality. Even what is bad and
untrue has being only insofar as its real-
ity still, somehow, conforms to its no-

...“Everything deserving the name of
has always been based on
the consciousness of an absolute unity
of that which the understanding
accepts as valid only in its sep-


The differ-
ences between
Being and
Essence, be-
tween Notion
and Objec-
tivity, are

“The stages of Being and Essence hith-
erto considered, as well as those of No-
tion and of Objectivity, are not, when so
distinguished, something permanent,
upon themselves. But they have
proved to be dialectical, and their truth con-
sists only in being moments of the
.” (387-388)


Vol. VI, 388

The moments of the cognition (= of
the “idea”) of nature by man—these
are the categories of logic.


Vol. VI, p. 388 (§ 214):

“The Idea may be described in many
ways. It may be called reason (this is the
proper philosophical signification of rea-
son); also subject-object; the unity of the
ideal and the real, of the finite and the
infinite, of soul and body; the possibility
which has its actuality in its own self;
that whose nature can be conceived only
as existent, etc. All these descriptions

apply, because the Idea contains all the
relations of understanding; but contains
them in their infinite self-return and self-

(the idea)
truth is


“It is easy work for the understanding to
show that everything said of the Idea is
self-contradictory. But that can quite as well
be rendered to the understanding or rather
it is already accomplished in the idea. And
this work, which is the work of reason, is
certainly not so easy as that of the under-
standing.—The understanding may demon-
strate that the Idea is self-contradictory,
because, for instance, the subjective is
only subjective and is always confronted
by the objective; that Being is something
quite different from the notion and there-
fore cannot be extracted out of it; and that
likewise the finite is only finite and the

exact antithesis of the infinite, and there-
fore not identical with it; and so on with
all the determinations. Logic, however,
demonstrates the opposite of all this, name-

ly, that the subjective, which is to be
subjective only, the finite, which is to be
finite only, the infinite, which is to be
infinite only, and so on, have no truth,
but contradict themselves, and pass into
their opposites. Thus, this transition, and
the unity in which the extremes are in-
cluded as transcended, as appearance or
moments, is revealed as their truth. (388)


“The understanding, when it tackles the
Idea, falls into a double misunderstand-


ing. First, it takes the extremes of the
Idea (be they expressed as they will, so
long as they are in their unity) still in
that sense and determination in which

and the
unity” of

they are not in their concrete unity, but


remain abstractions outside of the Idea.
“It” (der Verstand[47]) “no less mistakes the
relation between them, even when it has

A beautiful
example: the
the in-
ual =
the uni-

been expressly stated; thus, for example, it over-
looks even the nature of the copula
in the judgment
, which affirms that
the individual, the subject, is just as
much not individual, but uni-
.—In the second place, the understand-

simplest and
clearest. The
dialectic of
notions and
its material-
   ist roots   

ing believes its reflection,—that the self-indent-
ical Idea contains its own negative, the
contradiction,—to be an external reflec-
tion which does not lie within the Idea itself.
In fact, however, this is not the understand-
ing’s own wisdom. The Idea itself
is the dialectic
which for ever sepa-

The dialectic
is not in man’s
ing, but in
the “idea,”
i.e., in objec-
tive reality

rates and distinguishes the self-identical
from the differentiated, the subjective from

life” =

the objective, the finite from the infinite, the soul
from the body. Only insofar is it an eter-
nal creation, eternal vitality,
and eternal spirit
....” (389)


VI, § 215, p. 390:

The idea
is ... a process

The Idea is essentially a process, be-
cause its identity is the absolute and free
identity of the notion, only insofar as
it is absolute negativity and for that
reason dialectical.”

This NB

Hence, Hegel says, the expression “uni-
ty” of thinking and being, of finite and
infinite, etc., is falsch,[48] because it ex-
presses “quietly persisting identity.” It is
not true that the finite simply neutral-
ises (“netralisiert”) the infinite and vice
. Actually, we have a process.

If one calculates ... every second more
than ten persons in the world die, and
still more are born. “Movement” and “mo-
ment”: catch it. At every given moment
... catch this moment. Idem in simple
mechanical motion (contra Chernov).[49]

“The idea as a process runs through
three stages in its development. The first
form of the idea is Life.... The second form
is ... the idea in the form of Knowledge,
which appears under the double aspect
of the theoretical and practical idea. The
process of knowledge results in the resto-
ration of unity enriched by difference,
and this gives the third form, that of
the Absolute Idea...” (391)


The idea is “truth” (p. 385, § 213).
The idea, i.e., truth as a process—
for truth is a process—passes in its
development (Entwicklung) through three
stages: 1) life; 2) the process of knowl-
edge, which includes human practice
and technique (see above); 3) the stage
of the absolute idea (i.e., of complete
     Life gives rise to the brain. Nature
is reflected in the human brain. By
checking and applying the correctness
of these reflections in his practice and
technique, man arrives at objective

Truth is a
process. From
the subjective
idea, man
towards objec-
tive truth

Logic. Volume V.

Section Three: Idea. Chapter I. Life.

The question of Life does not belong to
“logic as it is commonly imagined.” (Bd.
V. p. 244[50]) If, however, the subject-mat-
ter of logic is truth, and “truth as
such wesentlich im Erkennen
,[51]” then cognition has to be dealt
with—in connection with cognition it is
already (p. 245) necessary to speak of

Sometimes so-called “pure logic” is fol-
lowed by “applied” (angewandte) logic,


...“every science must be absorbed in
logic, since each is an applied logic in-
sofar as it consists in apprehending its
object in forms of thought and of the
Notion.” (244)

every science
is applied

The idea of including Life in
logic is comprehensible—and brilliant—
from the standpoint of the process of
the reflection of the objective world
in the (at first individual) consciousness
of man and of the testing of this
consciousness (reflection) through prac-

the original Judg-
of Life con-
sists in this, that
it separates itself
as individual sub-
ject from the objec-
tive....” (248)

§ 216: only in their
connection are
the individual
limbs of the body
what they are.
A hand,
separated from
the body, is a
hand only in
name (Aristotle).

Life = indi-
vidual sub-
ject separates
itself from
the objective

If one considers the relation of sub-
ject to object in logic, one must take
into account also the general premises
of Being of the concrete subject (= life
of man
) in the objective surroundings.


1) Life, as “the living individual” (§ A)
2) “The Life-process”
3) “The Process of Kind” (Gattung), re-
     production of man
, and transition to

(1) “subjective totality” and “indiffer-
ent objectivity.”

(2) The unity of subject and object

objectivity of
the Living
Entity is
Organism; the
objectivity is
the means
and instru-
of the
End....” (251)

Encyclopaedia § 219: ...“Inorganic
nature which is subdued by the living
being suffers this because it is in itself
the same as life is for itself.”

Invert it = pure materialism. Ex-
cellent, profound, correct!! And also
NB: shows how extremely correct and
apt are the terms “an sich” and “für


Further, the “subsumption” under log-
ical categories of “sensibility” (Sensi-
bilität), “irritability” (Irritabilität)—
this is said to be the particular in con-
trast to the universal!!—and “reproduc-
tion” is an idle game. Forgotten is the
nodal line, the transition into a dif-
plane of natural phenomena.
     And so on. Pain is “actual existence”
of contradiction in the living individual.

and the
 play with
The comic
in Hegel

Or again, reproduction of
man ... “is their” (of two
individuals of different sex)
“realised identity, is the
negative unity of the kind
which intro-reflects itself
out of the division....” (261)

and the
play with


Logic. Volume V.
Section III. The Idea.
Chapter II. The Idea of Cognition
(pp. 262-327)

...“Its” (des Begriffs[55]) “reality in gener-
al is the form of its determinate existence,
and what matters is the determination
of this form; upon this depends the
distinction of that which the Notion is in
itself or as subjective, and of what it is
as submerged into Objectivity, and next
in the Idea of Life.” (263)

and its sub-
mersion in

...“Spirit not only is infi-
nitely richer than Nature,
but the absolute unity of
opposites in the Notion con-
stitutes its essence....” (264)


In Kant “the Ego” is as a transcenden-
tal subject of thoughts” (264); “At the
same time this Ego, according to Kant’s
own expression, is awkward in this respect,

i.e., that in
Kant the
?  “Ego” is
an empty
analysis of
the process
of cognition

that we must always make use of it in
order to make any judgment about it....”
(p. 265)


“In his” (= Kant’s) “criticism of these
determinations” (namely: abstrakte ein-

Kant and

seitige Bestimmungen “der vormaligen—
pre-Kantian—Metaphysik”[56] concerning the
“soul”) “he” (Kant) “simply followed Hume’s
sceptical manner: holds fast to that which
appears as Ego in self-consciousness, from


which however everything empirical must
be omitted, since the aim is to know its
essence, or the Thing-in-itself. Now noth-
ing remains but the phenomenon of the
I think which accompanies every idea;
and nobody has the slightest notion of this
I think.’” (266) # # #


Apparently, Hegel perceives scepti-
cism here in the fact that Hume and
Kant do not see the appearing Thing-
in-itself in “phenomena,” divorce phe-
nomena from objective truth, doubt the
objectivity of cognition, remove, weg-
lassen, alles Empirische[57] from the
Ding-an-sich....[58] And Hegel contin-

Wherein does
Hegel see the
scepticism of
Hume and

# # # ...“It must certainly be admitted
that it is impossible to have the slightest
notion of Ego or anything else (the No-
tion included), if no Notion is formed
and a halt is made at the simple, fixed,
general idea and name.” (266)

It is impossi-
ble to under-
stand without
the process of
ing (of cog-
nition, con-
crete study,

In order to understand, it is necessary
empirically to begin understanding,
study, to rise from empiricism to the uni-
versal. In order to learn to swim, it is
necessary to get into the water.


According to Hegel, the old metaphysics,
in the endeavour to cognise truth, divided
objects in accordance with the characteris-
tic of truth into substances and phenomena.
Kant’s Critique rejected the investigation
of truth.... “But to stand fast at appearance
and what proves to be mere sensuous
representation in everyday consciousness
is tantamount to a renunciation of the
Notion and of philosophy.” (269)

Kant restricts
himself to

§ A:
The Idea of the True. At first the sub-
jective Idea is impulse.... Consequently,
the impulse has the determinateness of
cancelling its own subjectivity, of making
concrete its reality (which was abstract
at first) I and of filling it, for content,
with the world which is presupposed by
its subjectivity.... As Cognition is the Idea
as End or as subjective idea, so the ne-
gation of the world which is presupposed
as being in itself is first negation....”

i.e. the first stage, moment, begin-
ning, approach of cognition is its fini-
tude (Endlichkeit) and subjectivity, the
negation of the world-in-itself—the end
of cognition is at first subjective....

side to

“Strangely enough this side
of finitude has latterly” (ob-
viously Kant) “been seized upon
and has been taken to be the
absolute relation of Cognition—

the Abso-
in Kant,
the Thing-
is an

as though the finite as such was
to be the absolute! From this
point of view the Object is
assigned the unknown property
of being a Thing-in-itself beyond
cognition, which, together with
truth, is considered an absolute
Beyond for Cognition.

The determinations of thought in general,
the categories and the determinations of
reflection as well as the formal Notion

and its moments, are here given the posi-
tion not that they are finite determina-
tions in and for themselves, but that they
are so in the sense that they are subjective


as against that empty Thinghood-in-itself;
the error of taking this relation of the
untruth of Cognition as valid has become
the universal opinion of modern times.”


Kant took the finite, transitory, re-
lative, conditional character of human
cognition (its categories, causality, etc.,
etc.) as subjectivism, and not as the
dialectics of the idea (= of nature itself),
divorcing cognition from the object.


...“But cognition must by its own pro-
cess resolve its finitude and therefore its
contradiction.” (277)

But the proc-
of cogni-
tion leads it
to objective

...“It is one-sided to imagine analysis
in such a manner as though nothing were
in the object except what has been put
it; and it is equally one-sided to
think that the determinations which re-
sult are simply taken out of it. The former
idea is, as is known, the thesis of sub-
jective idealism, which in analysis takes
the activity of Cognition only as a one-
sided positing, beyond which the Thing-
remains hidden; the latter idea
belongs to so-called realism, which takes
the subjective Notion as an empty iden-
tity that absorbs the thought-determina-
tions from without.” (280)
     ...“But the two moments cannot be sep-
arated; in its abstract form, into which

Hegel against
idealism and

analysis elaborates it, the logical is cer-
tainly present only in Cognition; while
conversely it is not only something posited
but also something which is in itself.” (280)

The Objectiv-
ity of logic

Logical concepts are subjective so long
as they remain “abstract,” in their ab-
stract form, but at the same time they
express also the Things-in-themselves.
Nature is both concrete and abstract,
both phenomenon and essence, both mo-
ment andrelation. Human concepts are
subjective in their abstractness, sepa-
rateness, but objective as a whole, in
the process, in the sum-total, in the
tendency, in the source.


Very good is § 225 of the Encyclopae-
where “cognition” (“theoretical”) and
“will,” “practical activity,” are depicted
as two sides, two methods, two means
of abolishing the “one-sidedness” both
of subjectivity and of objectivity.


And further 281-282 very important
on the transition of the categories
into one another (and against Kant, p. 282).


Logic, Vol. V, p. 282 (the end)[60]

...“Kant ... takes up the determinate
connection (the relation-notions and the

synthetic principles themselves) from for-
mal logic
as given. They ought to have
been deduced by the exposition of the
of this simple unity of self-con-
sciousness into these its determinations and
distinctions; but Kant spared himself the
trouble of demonstrating this veritably
synthetic progress, that of the self-
producing Notion
.” (282)


Kant did not show the transi-
of the categories into one another.


286-287—Turning once more to higher
     mathematics (showing, inter alia, that
     he is familiar with Gauss’ solution of
     the equation Xm—1=0[61], Hegel again
     touches on the differential and integral
     calculus, and says that:

“to this day mathematics by itself, that
is, in a mathematical manner, has failed
in justifying these operations, which are
based upon this transition” (from one mag-
nitude to another), “for the transition is
not of a mathematical nature.” Hegel says
that Leibnitz, to whom is ascribed the hon-
our of having discovered the differential
calculus, effected this transition “in a most
inadequate manner, a manner both thor-
oughly notionless and unmathematical....”


Analytic cognition is the first premise
of the whole syllogism,—the immediate
relation of the Notion to the Object. Con-
sequently, identity is the determination
which it recognises as its own: it is only
the apprehension of what is. Synthetic
Cognition endeavours to form a Notion
of what is, that is, to grasp the multiplic-
ity of determinations in its unity. Hence
it is the second premise of the syllogism
in which terms various as such are related.
Its goal is therefore necessity in general.”

Regarding the practice in certain scien-
ces (e.g., physics) of taking various “for-
ces,” etc., for “explanation,” and of pulling
in (stretching), adjusting the facts, etc.,
Hegel makes the following clever remark:

“It is now seen that the so-called expla-
nation and proof of the concrete element
which is brought into Propositions is partly

a tautology and partly a confusion of the
true relationship; partly, too, it is seen that
this confusion served to disguise the trick
of Cognition, which takes up the data of
experience one-sidedly (the only manner

correct and

in which it could reach its simple defini-
tions and formulas), and does away with
refutation from experience by proposing
and taking as valid experience not in its
concrete totality but as example, and only
in that direction which is serviceable for
the hypotheses and the theory. Concrete
experience being thus subordinated to the
presupposed determinations, the foundation
of the theory is obscured, and is exhibited
only from that side which is in conformity
with the theory.” (315-316)

(c.f. the polit-
ical econo-
my of the
against sub-
jectivism and

The old metaphysics (e.g., of Wolff
[example: ridiculous pomposity over tri-
vialities, etc.]) was overthrown by Kant
and Jacobi. Kant showed that “strict de-
monstration” led to antimonies,
     “but he” (Kant) “did not reflect upon
the nature of this demonstration, which is
bound to a finite content; yet the two stand
and fall together.” (317)

i.e., Kant
did not un-
derstand the

Synthetic cognition is still not complete,
for “the Notion does not become unity with

law of the
dialectics of

itself in its object or its reality.... Hence
in this Cognition the Idea does not yet
reach truth because of the inadequacy of
the object to the subjective Notion.—But
the sphere of Necessity is the highest

the “Finite”?

point of Being and of Reflection; in and
for itself it passes over into the freedom
of the Notion, while the inner identity
passes over into its manifestation, which
is the Notion as Notion....”


...“The Idea, insofar as the Notion is
now for itself the Notion determinate in
and for itself, is the Practical Idea, or
Action.” (319) And the following § is
headed “B: The Idea of the Good.”


Theoretical cognition ought to give
the object in its necessity, in its all-
sided relations, in its contradictory mo-
vement, an-und für-sich.[62] But the human
notion “definitively” catches this object-
ive truth of cognition, seizes and masters
it, only when the notion becomes “being-
for-itself” in the sense of practice. That
is, the practice of man and of mankind
is the test, the criterion of the object-
ivity of cognition. Is that Hegel’s idea?
It is necessary to return to this.

Hegel on
practice and
the objectiv-
ity of cog-

Why is the transition from practice,
from action, only to the “good,” das
Gute? That is narrow, one-sided! And
the useful?
     There is no doubt the useful also
comes in. Or is this, according to Hegel,
also das Gute?


All this in the chapter “The Idea
of Cognition” (Chapter II)—in the tran-
sition to the “Absolute Idea” (Chapter
III)—i.e., undoubtedly, in Hegel prac-
tice serves as a link in the analysis
of the process of cognition, and indeed
as the transition to objective (“abso-
lute,” according to Hegel) truth. Marx,
consequently, clearly sides with Hegel
in introducing the criterion of practice
into the theory of knowledge: see the
Theses on Feuerbach.[63]


Practice in the theory
     of knowledge:

     Man’s consciousness
not only reflects the ob-
jective world, but cre-
ates it.


(320) “As subjective It”
(der Begriff) “has again the
presupposition of an other-
ness which is in itself; it is
the impulse to realise itself,
or the end which tries to
give itself objectivity in the
objective world, and to car-
ry itself out, through itself.
In the Theoretical Idea the
subjective Notion stands op-
posed, as the universal
which is indeterminate in
and for itself, to the ob-
jective world, from which
it draws determinate con-
tent and fulfilment. But in
the Practical Idea it stands
opposed as actual to the
actual. But the self-certain-
ty which the subject has
in the fact of its deter-
minateness in and for itself,
is a certainty of its own
actuality and of the non-
of the world;....”

The notion (= man), as
subjective, again presup-
posed an otherness which
is in itself (= nature inde-
pendent of man). This no-
tion (= man) is the im-
to realise itself, to
give itself objectivity in
the objective world through
itself, and to realise (ful-
fil) itself.
     In the theoretical idea
(in the sphere of theory)
the subjective notion (cog-
nition?), as the universal
and in and for itself inde-
terminate, stands opposed
to the objective world, from
which it obtains determi-
nate content and fulfilment.
     In the practical idea (in
the sphere if practice) this
notion as the actual (act-
ing?) stands opposed to the
     The self-certainty which
the subject [[here sudden-

ly instead of “Notion]] has
in its being in and for it-
self, as a determinate sub-
ject, is a certainty of its
own actuality and of the
non-actuality of the world.

i.e., that the world
does not satisfy man and
man decides to change
it by his activity.


...“This determinateness,
which is contained in the
Notion, and is equal to it,
and includes within itself
the demand of the individ-
ual external actuality, is
the Good. It appears with

The essence:
     The “good” is a “demand
of external actuality,” i.e.,
by the “good” is understood
man’s practice = the de-
mand (1) also of external
actuality (2).

the dignity of absoluteness,
because it is the totality of
the Notion within itself—
the objective in the form
simultaneously of free unity

and subjectivity. This Idea
is higher than the Idea
of Cognition which has
already been consid-
, for it has not only the
dignity of the universal but
also of the simply ac-
....” (320-321)

Practice is higher
than (theoretical)
, for it has not
only the dignity of univer-
sality, but also of immedi-
ate actuality.

     ...“Consequently, the ac-
tivity of the end is not di-
rected against itself, for the
purpose of absorbing and
assimilating a given deter-
mination; it aims rather at
positing its own determi-
nation, and, by transcend-
ing the determinations of

     “The activity of the end
is not directed against it-
     but aims, by destroying
definite (sides, features,
phenomena) of the exter-
world, at giving itself
reality in the form of ex-
ternal actuality

the external world, at giv-
ing itself reality in the form
of external actuality....”


...“The realised Good is good by virtue of what it is
already in the Subjective End, in its Idea; realisation gives
it an external existence....” (322). “Presupposed to it (the
Good) is the objective world, in the presupposition of which
the subjectivity and finitude of the Good consists and
which, as being other, pursues its own course; and in it
even the realisation of the Good is exposed to obstacles,
and may even be made impossible....” + (322-323) ...“Pre-
supposed to it (the Good) is the objective world, in the pre-
supposition of which the subjectivity and finitude of the Good
consists and which, as being other, pursues its own
and in it even the realisation of the Good is exposed
to obstacles, and may even be made impossible.....+


The “objective world” “pursues its own course,
and man’s practice, confronted by this objective
world, encounters “obstacles in the realisation”
of the End, even “impossibility....”


+ ...“Thus the Good remains an Ought; it is in and for
itself, but Being, as last and abstract immediacy, remains
determined against it as a not-Being too....”++ (323)


The Good, welfare, well-meaning aspirations, remain


++ ...“Although the Idea of the perfected

Good is an absolute postulate, it is no more
than a postulate,—that is, the absolute
infected with the determinateness of

Two worlds:

subjectivity. There are still two worlds
in opposition:
one a realm of subjec-


tivity in the pure spaces of trans-
thought, the other a realm
of objectivity in the element of an exter-
nally manifold actuality, which is an
unexplored realm of darkness. The com-
plete development of the unresolved con-

tradiction, of that absolute end which the
barrier of this actuality insuperably op-
poses, has been considered more closely
in Phänomenologie des Geistes, p. 453
et seq....” (323)


A gibe at the pure “spaces of transparent thought”
in the realm of subjectivity, which is confronted by the
“darkness” of “objective,” “manifold” actuality.


...“In the latter” (= der theoretischen
Idee[64] in contrast to der praktischen Idee[65])
...“Cognition knows itself only as appre-
hension, as the self-identity of the No-
tion, which for itself is indeterminate;
fulfilment, that is, objectivity determined
in and for itself, is given to it, and that
which truly is is the actuality that is

present independently of subjective
positing. The Practical Idea on the other

hand counts this actuality (which at the
same time opposes it as an insuperable
barrier) as that which in and for itself
is null, which is to receive its true deter-
mination and sole value through the ends
of the Good. Will itself consequently bars

the way to its own goal insofar as it
separates itself from Cognition and
external actuality does not, for it,
retain the form of that which truly

is; consequently the Idea of the Good can
find its complement only in the Idea of
the True.” (323-324)


Cognition ... finds itself faced by
that which truly is as actuality present
independently of subjective opinions
(Setzen[66]). (This is pure materi-
alism!) Man’s will, his practice, itself
blocks the attainment of its end
...in that it separates itself from cog-
nition and does not recognise external
actuality for that which truly is (for
objective truth). What is necessary is
the union of cognition and

Nota bene

And immediately following this:
     “But it makes this transition through

itself” (the transition of the idea of truth
into the idea of the Good, of theory into
practice, and vice versa). “In the syllo-
gism of action one premise is the immediate

relation of the good end to actuality,
of which it makes itself master, directing
it (in the second premise) as external
means against external actuality.” (324)


The “syllogism of action” ... For He-
gel action, practice, is a logical
syllogism,” a figure of logic. And
that is true! Not of course, in the sense
that the figure of logic has its other
being in the practice of man (=abso-
lute idealism), but vice versa: man’s
practice, repeating itself a thousand
million times, becomes consolidated
in man’s consciousness by figures of logic.
Precisely (and only) on account of this
thousand-million-fold repetition, these
figures have the stability of a preju-
dice, an axiomatic character.
First premise: The good end (subjective
                      end) versus actuality
                      (“external actuality”).
Second premise: The external means (in-
                       strument), (objective).
Third premise or conclusion: The coin-
                        cidence of subjective
                        and objective, the test
                        of subjective ideas, the
                        criterion of objective


...“The realisation of the Good in the
teeth of an opposing and other actuality
is the mediation which is essential for
the immediate relation and actualisation
of the Good....” (325)

...“If now in spite of this” (through activ-
ity) “the end of the Good should not be
realised, then this is a relapse of the Notion
to the standpoint which the Notion has
before its activity—the standpoint of that
actuality which was determined as null
and yet was presupposed as real. This
relapse becomes a progress to bad infin-
ity; it has its only ground in the fact
that in the transcendence of this abstract

reality the transcendence is equally imme-
diately forgotten, or that it is forgotten
that this reality has already been presup-
posed as non-objective actuality which is
null in and for itself.” (325)


The non-fulfilment of ends (of human
activity) has as its cause (Grund) the
fact that reality is taken as non-existent
(nichtig), that its (reality’s) objective
actuality is not being recognised.


“By the activity of the objective No-
tion external actuality is altered, and its
determination is accordingly transcended;
and by this very process it loses merely
apparent reality, external determinability,
and nullity, and it is thus posited as being
in and for itself....” (326) +



The activity of man, who has  
  constructed an objective picture of  
  the world for himself, changes  
  external actuality, abolishes its  
  determinateness (= alters some  
  sides or other, qualities, of it),  


  and thus removes from it the fea-  
  tures of Semblance, externality and  
  nullity, and makes it as being in  
  and for itself (= objectively true).  


+ ...Presupposition in general is here
transcended,—that is, the determination

of the Good as an end which is merely
and restricted in its content,

the necessity of realising it by subjective
activity, and this activity itself. In the
mediation transcends itself; the
result is an immediacy which is not the
reconstitution of the presupposition but
rather the fact of its transcendedness. The
Idea of the Notion which is determined
in and for itself is thus posited no longer
merely in the active subject
, but equally

as an immediate actuality; and the latter
conversely is posited as it is in Cogni-
as objectivity which truly is."


The results of activity is the test of subjective cognition
and the criterion of OBJECTIVITY WHICH TRULY IS.


...“In this result then Cognition is re-

constructed and united with the
Practical Idea
; the actuality which is
found as given is at the same time determined

as the realised absolute end,—not however
(as in inquiring Cognition) merely as ob-
jective world without the subjectivity of
the Notion, but as objective world whose
inner ground and actual persistence is the
Notion. This is the Absolute Idea.” (327)
((End of Chapter II. Transition to Chap-
ter III: “The Absolute Idea.”))

Chapter III: “The Absolute Idea.” (327)

...“The Absolute Idea has turned out
to be the identity of the Theoretical and the
Practical Idea; .each of these by itself
is one-sided....” (327)


The unity of the theoretical idea (of
knowledge) and of practice—this
NB—and this unity precisely in
the theory of knowledge
, for
the resulting sum is the “absolute idea”
(and the idea = “das objektive Wahre”[67])


What remains to be considered is no lon-
ger Inhalt,[68] but ...“the universal element
of its form—that is, the method.” (329)

“In inquiring cognition the method is
likewise in the position, of a tool, of a
means which stands on the subjective side,
whereby the subjective side relates itself to
the object.... But in true cognition the meth-
od is not merely a quantity of certain
determinations; it is the fact that the No-
tion is determined in and for itself, and
is the middle member” (in the logical figure
of the syllogism) “only because it equally
has the significance of objective....” (331)

...“The absolute method” (i.e., the meth-
od of cognition of objective truth) “on
the other hand does not behave as exter-
nal reflection; it draws the determinate
element directly from its object itself,
since it is the object’s immanent principle
and soul.—It was this that Plato demanded

of cognition, that it should consider things
in and for themselves
, and that while part-
ly considering them in their universality
it should also hold fast to them, not catch-
ing at externals, examples and compari-
sons, but contemplating the things alone
and bringing before consciousness what
is immanent in them....” (335-336)


This method of “absolute cognition” is ana-
... “but equally it is synthetic(336)

One of the
tions of

“Dieses so sehr synthetische als analy-
tische Moment des Urteils, wodurch das
anfängliche Allgemeine aus ihm selbst als
das Andere Seiner sich bestimmt, ist das
dialektische zu nennen” ... (336) (+ see
the next page

“This equally synthetic and analytic
moment of the Judgment, by which (the
moment) the original universality [gen-
eral concept] determines itself out of
itself as other in relation to itself,
must be called dialectical.”


[Back to top]
    A determination which is not a clear

1) The determination of the concept out
of itself [the thing itself must be consid-
ered in its relations and in its develop-

2) the contradictory nature of the thing
itself (das Andere seiner[71]), the contra-
dictory forces and tendencies in each phe-

3) the union of analysis and synthesis.

Such apparently are the elements of

One could perhaps present these ele-
ments in greater detail as follows:

of dialec-
  1. the objectivity of consideration
    (not examples, not divergencies, but
    the Thing-in-itself).
  2. the entire totality of the manifold
    relations of this thing to others.
  3. the development of this thing,
    (phenomenon, respectively), its own
    movement, its own life.
  4. the internally contradictory tenden-
    (and sides) in this thing.
  5. the thing (phenomenon, etc.) as the
    sum  and
    unity of opposites.
  6. the struggle, respectively unfold-
    ing, of these opposites, contradictory
    strivings, etc.
  7. the union of analysis and synthesis—
    the break-down of the separate parts
    and the totality, the summation of
    these parts.
  8. the relations of each thing (phenome-
    non, etc.) are not only manifold, but
    general, universal. Each thing (phe-
    nomenon, process, etc.) is connected
    with  every other.    X
  9. not only the unity of opposites, but
    the transitions of every de-
    termination, quality, feature, side,
    property into every other [into its
  10. the endless process of the discovery
    of new sides, relations, etc.
  11. the endless process of the deepening
    of man’s knowledge of the thing, of
    phenomena, processes, etc., from ap-
    pearance to essence and from less pro-
    found to more profound essence.
  12. from co-existence to causality and from
    one form of connection and reciprocal
    dependence to another, deeper, more
    general form.
  13. the repetition at a higher stage of
    certain features, properties, etc., of
    the lower and
  14. the apparent return to the old (nega-
    tion of the negation).
  15. the struggle of content with form and
    conversely. The throwing off of the
    form, the transformation of the con-
  16. the transition of quantity into quality
    and vice versa ((15 and 16 are examples of 9))


In brief, dialectics can be defined as the doctrine of
the unity of opposites. This embodies the essence
of dialectics, but it requires explanations and develop-


+ (continuation. See the previous

...“Dialectics is one of those ancient
sciences which has been most misjudged in
modern metaphysics [here obviously = the-
ory of knowledge and logic] and in the
popular philosophy of ancients and mod-

Plato and

erns alike....” (336) Diogenes Laertius
said of Plato that he was the father of
dialectics, the third philosophical science
(as Thales was the father of natural phi-
losophy and Socrates of moral philoso-

phy), but that those who are particularly
loud in talking about this merit of Plato’s
give little thought to it....

The objec-
tivity of

...“Dialectics has often been considered
an art, as though it rested upon a sub-
jective talent and did not belong to the
objectivity of the Notion....” (336-337)

It is an important merit of Kant’s to have
re-introduced dialectics, to have recognised
it as “necessary” (a property) “;of reason”
(337) but the result (of the application
of dialectics) must be “opposite” (to Kant-
ianism). See below.


There follows a very interesting, clear
and important outline of dialectics.

...“Besides generally appearing as con-
tingent, dialectics usually has this more
detailed form, that when in respect of any
particular object, e.g., the world, mo-
tion, point, etc., it is shown that it has
any particular determination—e.g. (in
the order of the above-mentioned objects)
finitude in space or time, presence at
this place, absolute negation of space—
it is, however, shown further that it has
with equal necessity the opposite deter-
mination, e.g., infinity in space and time,
non-presence at this place, and a rela-
tion to space, consequently spatiality. The

older Eleatic school applied its dialec-
tics chiefly against motion; Plato frequent-
ly against contemporary ideas and con-
cepts (especially those of the Sophists),

from the
history of

but also against pure categories and re-

flection-determinations; the developed lat-
er scepticism extended it not only to
the immediate so-called data of conscious-
ness and maxims of ordinary life, but

the role of
scepticism in
the history of

also to all the concepts of science. The
conclusion which is drawn from such dia-
lectics is contradiction and the nullity of
the assertions made. But it may occur in
a double sense,—in the objective sense,
the object which thus contradicts itself
being held to cancel itself and to be null
(—this was, for instance, the Eleatic con-
clusion, by which, for example, the world,
motion, and the point were deprived of
truth), or in the subjective sense, cogni-

tion being held to be defective. The latter
conclusion is sometimes understood to mean
that it is only this dialectics that effects
the trick of an illusive show. This is the

dialectics is
to be a trick

ordinary view of so called sound common
sense, which holds fast to the evidence
of the senses and to customary ideas and
expressions....” (337-338)

Diogenes the Dog,[73] for example,
proved movement by walking up and
down, “a vulgar refutation” (338), says

ism = (also)

...“Or again the result reached—that of
subjective nullity—relates, not to the dia-
lectic itself, but rather to the cognition
against which it is directed, and in the
sense of scepticism and likewise of the
Kantian philosophy, to cognition in gener-

al....” (338)


“The fundamental prejudice here is
that the dialectic has only a negative re-
,” (338)


Among other things, it is said that
it is a merit of Kant’s to have drawn
attention to dialectics and to the con-
sideration “of the determinations of thought
in and for themselves” (339)

That is cor-
Image and

“The object in its existence without
thought and Notion is an image or a name:
it is what it is in the determinations of
thought and Notion....”

the develop-
ment of both,
nil aliud[74]
The object
itself as

...“It must not therefore be considered the
fault of an object, or of cognition, that they
manifest themselves as dialectical by their
nature and by an external connection....”

Concepts are
not immobile
but—in and
for them-
selves, by
their na-
ture =

...“Thus all opposites which are taken
as fixed, such as, for example, finite and
infinite, or individual and universal, are
contradictory not by virtue of some exter-
nal connection, but rather are transitions
in and for themselves, as the considera-
tion of their nature showed....” (339)


“Now this is the standpoint which was
referred to above, in which a universal
first term considered in and for itself
shows itself to be its own Other....” (340)

The first uni-
versal con-
cept (also =
the first

...“But the Other is essentially not the

This is very

empty negative or Nothing which is com-
monly taken as the result of dialec-
, it is the Other of the first, the negative

important for

of the immediate; it is thus determined


as mediated,—and altogether contains the
determination of the first. The first is thus
essentially contained and preserved in the
Other.—To hold fast the positive in its neg-

ative, and the content of the presupposition

in the result, is the most important part
of rational cognition; also only the simplest
reflection is needed to furnish conviction
of the absolute truth and necessity of this
requirement, while with regard to the
examples of proofs, the whole of Logic
consists of these.” (340)


Not empty negation, not futile negation, not scepti-
negation, vacillation and doubt is characteristic and
essential in dialectics,—which undoubtedly contains the
element of negation and indeed as its most important
element — no, as a moment of development, retaining
the positive, i.e., without any vacillations, without any


Dialectics consists in general in the ne-
gation of the first proposition, in its re-
placement by a second (in the transition
of the first into the second, in the demon-
stration of the connection of the first
with the second, etc.). The second can be
made the predicate of the first—

— “for example, the finite is infinite,
one is many, the individual is the
universal....” (341)


...“The first or immediate term is the No-

in itself” =
not yet de-
veloped, not
yet unfolded

tion in itself, and therefore is the nega-
tive only in itself; the dialectical moment
with it therefore consists in this, that
the distinction which it implicitly contains
is posited in it. The second term on the
other hand is itself the determinate en-

tity, the distinction or relation; hence with
it the dialectical moment consists in the
positing of the unity which is contained
in it....”— (341-342)


(In relation to the simple and origi-
nal, “first,” positive assertions, proposi-
tions, etc., the “dialectical moment”, i.e.,
scientific consideration, demands the dem-
onstration of difference, connection, tran-
sition. Without that the simple positive
assertion is incomplete, lifeless, dead. In
relation to the “second,” negative propo-
sition, the “dialectical moment” demands
the demonstration of “unity,” i.e., of
the connection of negative and positive,
the presence of this positive in the nega-
tive. From assertion to negation—from
negation to “unity” with the asserted—
without this dialectics becomes empty ne-
gation, a game, scepsis.)


... —“If then the negative, the deter-
minate, the relation, judgment, and all
determinations which fall under this sec-
ond moment, do not of themselves appear
as contradictory and dialectical, this is
a mere fault of thought which does not
confront its thoughts one with another.
For the materials—opposite determinations
in one relation—are posited already and
are at hand for thought. But formal thought
makes identity its law, and allows the
contradictory content which lies before it

to drop into the sphere of sensuous repre-
sentation, into space and time, where the
contradictory terms are held apart in spa-
tial and temporal juxtaposition and thus
come before consciousness without mu-
tual contact
.” (342)


“Come before consciousness without
mutual contact” (the object)—that is
the essence of anti-dialectics. It is only
here that Hegel has, as it were, allowed
the ass’s ear of idealism to show them-
selves—by referring time and space (in
connection with sensuous representation)
to something lower compared with
thought. Incidentally, in a certain sense,
sensuous representation is, of course,
lower. The crux lies in the fact that
thought must apprehend the whole “re-
presentation” in its movement, but for
thought must be dialectical. Is
sensuous representation closer to
reality than thought? Both yes and no.
Sensuous representation cannot, appre-
hend movement as a whole, it can-
not, for example, apprehend movement
with a speed of 300,000 km. per second,
but thought does and must apprehend it.
Thought, taken from sensuous representa-
tion, also reflects reality; time is a form
of being of objective reality. Here, in the
concept of time (and not in the relation
of sensuous representation to thought)
is the idealism of Hegel.


...“In this connection this thought[75]
makes it its fixed principle that contradic-
tion is unthinkable; but in truth the think-
ing of contradiction is the essential mo-
ment of the Notion; in point of fact formal
thought does think contradiction, but im-
mediately disregards it, and with the asser-
tion of that principle” (the statement that
contradiction is unthinkable) “passes over
to abstract negation.” (342)


“The negativity which has just been
considered is the turning-point of the
movement of the Notion. It is the simple

the kernel of dialectics

point of negative self-relation, the inter-
nal source of all activity, vital and spirit-
ual self-movement, the dialectic soul which

all truth has in it and through which it

the criterion
of truth
(the unity
of the con-
cept and

alone is truth; for the transcendence of
the opposition between the Notion and
Reality, and that unity which is the truth,
rest upon this subjectivity alone.—The
second negative, the negative of the neg-


ative, which we have reached, is this

transcendence of the contradiction, but is
no more the activity of an external reflec-
tion than the contradiction is; it is the in-
and most objective moment of Life
and Spirit, by virtue of which a subject,
the person, the free, has being.” (342-343)


Important here is 1) the char-
acterisation of dialectics: self-move-
ment, the source of activity, the
movement of life and spirit; the
coincidence of the concepts of the
subject (man) with reality; 2) ob-
jectivism to the highest degree (“der
objektivste Moment”[76]).


This negation of the negation is the
third term, says Hegel (343)—“if number
is applicable”—but it can also be taken
as the fourth (Quadruplicität[77]), (344)
counting two negations: the “simple” (or
“formal”) and the “absolute.” (343 i.f.)

The difference is not clear to me, is not the absolu-
te equivalent to the more concrete?

“That this unity, as well as the whole
form of the method, is a triplicity is wholly,
however, the merely superficial and ex-
ternal side of the manner of cognition” (344)

the “triplici-
ty” of dialec-
tics is its
external su-
perficial side

—but, he says, that is already “an infi-
nite merit of Kant’s philosophy” that it
at least (even if ohne Begriff[78]) demon-
strated this.


“Formalists, it is true, have also seized
upon triplicity, and have held fast to its
empty framework; and this form has been
rendered tedious and of ill-repute by the
shallow misuse and the barrenness of mod-
ern so-called philosophic construction,
which consists simply in attaching the for-
mal framework without concept and im-
manent determination to all sorts of mat-
ter and employing it for external arrange-
ment. But its inner value cannot be dimin-
ished by this vapid misuse, and it must
still be deemed of high value that the out-
ward form of the rational has been dis-
covered, albeit not understood.” (344-345)

Hegel sav-
agely attacks
tedious and
idle play

The result of the negation of the nega-

tion, this third term is “not a qui-
escent third term, but, as this unity”
(of contradictions), “is self-mediating
movement and activity....” (345)

The result of this dialectical transforma-
tion into the “third” term, into the synthe-
sis, is a new premise, assertion, etc., which
in turn becomes the source of a further
analysis. But into it, into this “third”
stage has already entered the “content
of cognition (“the content of cognition as
such enters within the sphere of contempla-
tion”) — and the method is extended into
a system. (346)

The beginning of all consideration, of
the whole analysis—this first premise—
now appears indeterminate, “imperfect”;
the need arises to prove, “derive” (ablei-
ten) (347) it and it turns out that
“this may seem equivalent to the demand
for an infinite backward progress in proof and
derivation” (347)—but, on the other hand,
the new premise drives forward....

...“Thus, cognition rolls forward from con-
tent to content. This progress determines
itself, first, in this manner, that it be-
gins from simple determinatenesses and
that each subsequent one is richer and
more concrete. For the result contains its
own beginning, and the development of
the beginning has made it the richer by
a new determinateness. The universal is
the foundation; the progress therefore must
not be taken as a flow from Other to Other.
In the absolute method the Notion pre-
itself in its otherness, and the uni-
versal in its particularisation, in the Judg-
ment and in reality; it raises to each next
stage of determination the whole mass of
its antecedent content, and by its dialec-
tical progress not only loses nothing and
leaves nothing behind, but carries with
it all that it has acquired, enriching and
concentrating itself upon itself....” (349)

(This extract is not at all bad as a kind
of summing up of dialectics.)

But expansion requires also deepening

(“In-sich-gehen[79]) “ and greater extension
is also higher intensity.” (349)


“The richest consequently is also the
most concrete and subjective, and that
which carries itself back into the simplest
depth is also the most powerful and com-
prehensive.” (349)

This NB: The
richest is

the most concrete
and most

“In this manner it comes about that each
step in the progress of further determi-
nation in advancing from the indetermi-
nate beginning is also a rearward approach
to it, so that two processes which may
at first appear to be different (the regres-
sive confirmation of the beginning and its
progressive further determination) coincide
and are the same.” (350)

It is impermissible deprezieren[80] this
indeterminate beginning:

“It requires no apology that it”
(the beginning) “may be admitted mere-
ly as provisional and hypothetical. Any
objections which might be advanced—
about the limits of human cognition, or
the need of a critical investigation of the
instrument of cognition before the prob-
lem is attacked—are themselves supposi-

Hegel against

tions which, as concrete determinations,
imply the need for their mediation and
proof. Formally then they are no better
than that beginning against which they


protest, and rather require a derivation
by reason of their more concrete content; so
that it is sheer presumption to demand


that they should have preferential consid-
eration. Their content is untrue, for they


make incontrovertible and absolute what
is known to be finite and untrue (namely,

a restricted cognition which is determined
as form and instrument as against its

against Kant

content); and this untrue cognition is it-
self form and regressive confirmation.—
The method of truth too knows the begin-
ning to be incomplete because it is be-
ginning, but also knows this incomplete
term in general as necessary, because truth
is only the coming to itself through the
negativity of immediacy....” (350-351)

Science is a
circle of

NB: the con-
nection of the
method with
Sein”[81] with
Being that is
full of con-
tent and

...“By reason of the nature of the method
which has been demonstrated, science is
seen to be a circle which returns upon it-
self, for mediation bends back its end into
its beginning, simple ground. Further, this
circle is a circle of circles.... The various
sciences ... are fragments of this chain....”
     “The method is the pure Notion which
is related only to itself; it is therefore
the simple self-relation which is Being.
But now it is also Being fulfilled, the self-
comprehending Notion, Being as the con-
crete and also thoroughly intensive to-

...“Secondly, this Idea” ((die Idee des
absoluten Erkennens[82])) “still is logical,
it is enveloped in pure thought, and is
the science only of the divine Notion.
The systematic development is itself a real-
isation, but is maintained within the
same sphere. Since the pure Idea of Cogni-
tion is to that extent enclosed in subjectiv-
ity, it is an impulse to transcend the latter,
and pure truth, as the last result, also

becomes the beginning of another sphere
and science
. This transition need here only
be intimated.


“For the Idea posits itself as the abso-
lute unity of the pure Notion and its
Reality, and thus gathers itself into the
immediacy of Being; and in doing so,
as totality in this form, it is Nature.”

from the Idea
to Na-

This sentence on the last (353) page of
the Logic is highly noteworthy. The tran-
sition of the logical idea to nature. It
brings one within a hand’s grasp of mate-
rialism. Engels was right[83] when he said
that Hegel’s system was materialism turned
upside down. This is not the last sen-
tence of the Logic, but what comes after
it to the end of the page is unimportant.

End of the Logic. 17.XII.1914.

In the small
Logic (Ency-
, Par.
244, Zusatz[84]
p.414 [85]
the last sen-
of the
book reads:
“diese seiende
Idee aber
ist die


It is noteworthy that the whole chapter on the “Absol-
ute Ideas” scarcely says a word about God (hardly ever
has a “divine” “notion” slipped out accidentally) and
apart from that—this NB—it contains almost nothing
that is specifically idealism, but has for its main
subject the dialectical method. The sum-
total, the last word and essence of Hegel’s logic is the
dialectical method—this is extremely noteworthy. And
one thing more: in this most idealistic of
Hegel’s works there is the least idealism and the
most materialism. “Contradictory,” but a fact!


Vol. VI, p. 399[87]

The Encyclopaedia § 227—excellent on
the analytical method (to “analyse” the
“Given concrete” phenomenon—“to give the

“genus, or
force and
(genus = law)

form of abstraction” to its individual
aspects and “herausheben” “to bring into
relief”—“the genus, or force and law”
p. 398—and on its application:

It is not at all “an arbitrary matter” (398)
whether we apply the analytical or the
synthetical method (as man pflegt zu sprech-
en[88])—“it is the form of the very objects
that have to be cognised upon which it
depends” (399)

Locke and the empiricists adopt the
standpoint of analysis. And they often
say that “in general cognition cannot
do more.” (398)

“It is, however, at once apparent that

Quite correct
Cf. Marx’s
remark in
I, 5, 2[89]

this turns things upside down, and that
cognition which wishes to take things as
they are thereby falls into contradiction
with itself.” The chemist, for example,
“martert”[90] a piece of flesh and discovers

in it nitrogen, carbon, etc. “But then these
abstract substances have ceased to be

There can be many definitions, for ob-
jects have many aspects.

“The richer the object to be defined,
i.e., the more numerous the aspects which
it offers to one’s notice, the more various
also are the definitions framed from them”
(400 § 229)—for example, the definition
of life, of the state, etc.

In their definitions, Spinoza and Schel-
ling present a mass of “speculation” (Hegel
here obviously uses this word in the good
sense) but “in the form of assurances.”
Philosophy, however, must prove and de-
rive everything, and not limit itself to

Division (Einteilung) must be “natural
and not merely artificial, i.e., arbitrary.”

Pp. 403-404— anger at “construction”
and the “play” of construing, whereas it
is a question of the Begriff, the “Idee,” of “Ein-
heit des Begriffs und der Objektivität....”[91]

In the small Encyclopaedia § 233,
section b is entitled das Wollen[92]
(which in the large Logic is “Die Idee des

Activity is a “contradiction”—the pur-
pose is real and not real, possible and
not ... etc.

“Formally, however, the disappearance
of this contradiction consists in activity
abolishing the subjectivity of the pur-
pose and along with it the objectivity,
the opposite, in virtue of which both
are finite, and abolishing not merely the
one-sidedness of this subjectivity, but the
subjectivity as a whole” (406).

The standpoint of Kant and Fichte (es-
pecially in moral philosophy) is the stand-
point of purpose, of subjective ought (407)
(without connection with the objective)....

Speaking of the Absolute Idea, Hegel
ridicules (§ 237, Vol. VI, p. 409) “decla-
mation” over it, as if everything were
revealed in it, and he remarks that
     “the absolute idea” ... is ... “the univer-
sal,” “but the universal not merely as ab-
stract form, to which (sic!) the particular
content stands contrasted as an Other,

très bien!
A beautiful
Instead of
banal reli-
gion, one
must take all
kinds of ab-
stract truths

but as the absolute form into which all
determinations, the whole fullness of the
content posited by it, have retreated. In
this respect the absolute idea can be com-
pared to an old man, who utters the same
statements of religion as a child, but for
whom they have the significance of his
whole lifetime. Even if the child under-
stands the religious content, it is for him
still only something outside of which the
whole of life and the whole of the world
lie.” (410)


...“The interest lies in the whole move-
ment....” (§ 237, 409)


...“The content is the living develop-
ment of the idea....” “Each of the stages
hitherto reviewed is an image of the ab-
solute, but at first in a limited way....”

§ 238 Addendum:
     “The philosophical method is both ana-
lytical and synthetical, but not in the
sense of a bare juxtaposition or a mere
alternation of these two methods of finite
cognition, but rather in such a way that
it holds them transcended in itself, and

très bien

in everyone of its movements, there-
fore, it proves itself simultaneously ana-
lytical and synthetical. Philosophical

thought proceeds analytically, insofar as it

(and graphic)

only accepts its object, the Idea, allows
the latter its own way and, as it were,
only looks on at its movement and de-
velopment. To this extent philosophising
is wholly passive. Philosophic thought,

however, is equally synthetic and shows
itself to be the activity of the Notion itself.
That, however, involves the effort to re-
frain from our own fancies and private
opinions, which always seek to obtrude
themselves....” (411)

(§ 243, p. 413)... “Thus the method is
not an external form, but the soul and
notion of the content....”

(End of the Encyclopaedia; see above
on the side the extract from the end of Log-



[1] previous works—Ed.

[2] “ossified material”—Ed.

[3] “to render fluid”—Ed.

[4] Hegel, Werke, Bd. V, Berlin, 1834.—Ed.

[5] of the NotionEd.

[6] in fine—at the end—Ed.

[7] “to speak ill” of imagination and memory—Ed.

[8] “the summit of thought”—Ed.

[9]the incomprehensible”—Ed.

[10] truthEd.

[11] sensation and intuitionEd.

[12] See F. Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy (Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. II, Moscow, 1958, p. 371).

[13] constitutive—Ed.

[14] objectiveEd.

[15] dispenses with the material of sensuousness—Ed.

[16] constitutiveEd.

[17] “formal science”—Ed.

[18] “pure truth”—Ed.

[19] Hegel, Werke, Bd. VI, Berlin, 1840.—Ed.

[20] the logical forms—Ed.

[21] “adequate notion”—Ed.

[22] Hegel, Werke, Bd. V, Berlin, 1834.—Ed.

[23] Hegel, Werke, Bd. V, Berlin, 1834.—Ed.

[24] Lenin wrote this in English.—Ed.

[25] That’s what is needed!—Ed.

[26] notion-determinations—Ed.

[27] “otiose form”—Ed.

[28] If I may be allowed to say so.—Ed.

[29] individualEd.

[30] particularEd.

[31] universalEd.

[32] Chapter I of CapitalEd.

[33] to be inverted—Ed.

[34] from the threshold—Ed.

[35] Apparently the preposition “to” before the word “syllogism” is omitted.—Ed.

[36] Hegel, Werke, Bd. VI, Berlin, 1840.—Ed.

[37] Hegel, Werke, Bd. VI, Berlin, 1840.—Ed.

[38] The word “logic” in the manuscript is linked to the word “here” in the following quotation from Hegel.—Ed.

[39] Hegel, Werke, Bd. V, Berlin, 1834.—Ed.

[40] of objective totality—Ed.

[41] “natural necessity”—Ed.

[42] the End—Ed.

[43] vulgar—Ed.

[44] “beyond”—Ed.

[45] Hegel, Werke, Bd. VI, Berlin, 1840.—Ed.

[46] existing specially for themselves.—Ed.

[47] the understanding—Ed.

[48] falseEd.

[49] A critique of the metaphysical views of the Machist V. Chernov is presented by Lenin in his book Materialism and Empirio-Criticism (see V. I. Lenin, Materialism and Empirio-Criticism, Moscow, 1960).

[50] Hegel, Werke, Bd. V, Berlin, 1834.—Ed.

[51] essentially is in cognitionEd.

[52] Hegel, Werke, Bd. VI, Berlin, 1840.——Ed.

[53] Hegel, Werke, Bd. V, Berlin, 1834, pp. 248-262.—Ed.

[54] “in itself” and “for itself”!!!—Ed.

[55] the Notions—Ed.

[56] abstract one-sided determinations of “former—pre-Kantian—metaphysics”—Ed.

[57] everything empiricalEd.

[58] Thing-in-itselfEd.

[59] “Beyond”—Ed.

[60] At this point Lenin’s manuscript continues in the notebook “Hegel. Logic. Section III”—Ed.

[61] The solution of this equation was given by Gauss in his work Diisquisitiones arithmeticae (Arithmetical Studies), 1801.

[62] in and for itself—Ed.

[63] Lenin is referring to Marx’s “Theses on Feuerbach,” written in 1845 and published by Engels in 1888 as an appendix to Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy (see Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. II, Moscow, 1958, pp. 403-405).

[64] the Theoretical IdeaEd.

[65] the Practical IdeaEd.

[66] positing—Ed.

[67] “the objectivly true”—Ed.

[68] content—Ed.

[69] In the manuscript, there is an arrow from the parenthesis pointing to the paragraph: “Dialectics is...,” located on the following page of the manuscript. (See p. 223 of this volume.)—Ed.

[70] This section is known as Lenin’s “Summary of Dialectics,” and also exists in the Lenin Internet Archive on a separate page paired with Lenin’s “On the Question of Dialectics”KCG, 2007.

[71] the other of itself—Ed.

[72] See p. 220 of this volume.—Ed.

[73] The reference is to Diogenes of Sinope, a representative of the Cynic school who was nicknamed the “Dog,” probably because of his beggarly life and disregard for public morals.

[74] noting else—Ed.

[75] formal thought—Ed.

[76] “the most objective moment”—Ed.

[77] quadruplicity—Ed.

[78] without any concept—Ed.

[79] Going into itselfEd.

[80] to depreciate—Ed.

[81] “fulfilled Being”—Ed.

[82] the idea of absolute cognitionEd.

[83] See F. Engels, Ludwig Feuerbach and the End of Classical German Philosophy (Marx and Engels, Selected Works, Vol. II, Moscow, 1958, p. 372).

[84] addendum—Ed.

[85] Hegel, Werke, Bd. VI, Berlin, 1840.—Ed.

[86] “but this Idea which has Being is Nature”—Ed.

[87] Hegel, Werke, Bd. VI, Berlin, 1840.—Ed.

[88] is usually said—Ed.

[89] See K. Marx, Capital, Vol. I, Moscow, 1959, Chapter VII, p. 179. In footnote 1, Marx quotes from Hegel’s Encyclopaedia: “Reason is just as cunning as she is powerful. Her cunning consists principally in her mediating activity, which, by causing objects to act and react on each other in accordance with their own nature, in this way, without any direct interference in the process, carries out reason’s intentions.” (Hegel; Enzyklopädie, Erster Theil, “Die Logik,” Berlin, 1840, S. 382).

[90] tortures—Ed.

[91] the Notion, the “idea”, “the unity of the Notion and objectivity”—Ed.

[92] volitionEd.

[93]The Idea of the Good”—Ed.

[94] See p. [233] of this volume.—Ed.


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